Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NLDS notebook: Colorado Rockies depending on former Tampa Bay Ray Jason Hammel in pivotal Game 3

PHILADELPHIA — The Rockies have made their riveting run due to a series of unexpected contributions from unusual sources.

And with a chance to gain the advantage over the Phillies and keep going as the series returns to Denver for the next two games, they'll be looking to one of the most unlikeliest — former Rays RHP Jason Hammel, who will start pivotal Game 3 on Saturday.

"He has been a model of consistency for us since the All-Star break," manager Jim Tracy said. "There is no doubt in my mind he is the guy that should pitch Game 3 of this playoffs."

The Rays traded Hammel to the Rockies (for minor-leaguer RHP Aneury Rodriguez) on the last day of spring training, choosing to keep RHP Jeff Niemann. It worked out well for all parties, as Hammel went 10-8 with a 4.33 ERA and earned the start ahead of All-Star RHP Jason Marquis.

After going 7-15 with a 5.90 over three seasons of occasional use as a starter and reliever for the Rays, Hammel said the key was just getting a chance.

"It was huge," he said. "That's what I was looking for. I was hoping to get that in Tampa (Bay), but they're stockpiled over there with arms. Obviously I wish the best to them, but I was given a great opportunity here and cashed in on it. Definitely miss the fellas, but I'm on a great squad right now and I'm happy here."

Miscellany: The Phillies will choose their Game 3 starter today. If it's RHP Pedro Martinez, his last start in frigid temperatures was April 17, 2003 — first-pitch 33 degrees — vs. the Rays, and he threw seven shutout innings. … Rockies C Yorvit Torrealba hit just two homers this season, the last on May 6. "Everybody (in the dugout) was surprised," he said of Thursday's homer. … Thursday's crowd of 46,528 was the largest in Citizens Bank Park history. … Rockies starter RHP Aaron Cook got his first postseason win and second postseason hit.

Off to St. Louis: Dodgers pinch-hitter Jim Thome is looking forward to Game 3 on Saturday in St. Louis, about 150 miles from where he grew up in Peoria, Ill.

"I've always said St. Louis is probably, fans-wise, one of the better baseball cities in the game," he said. "It's fun to go there and feel that atmosphere toward baseball."

Loyalties were split in Thome's family, with one of his brothers rooting for the Cardinals and another brother and his father being Cubs fans. Peoria was divided nearly down the middle with fans of both teams.

"I'm proud to call it home," said Thome, who now makes his off­season home in the Chicago suburb of Hinsdale. "I'm glad I grew up in Peoria because it's salt-of-the-earth people. They're genuine."

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.

NLDS notebook: Colorado Rockies depending on former Tampa Bay Ray Jason Hammel in pivotal Game 3 10/08/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 8, 2009 11:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays vs. Orioles, 12:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field


    Today: vs. Orioles

    12:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM

    Tickets: $15-$275; available at Tropicana Field box office,, surcharge of up to $5 within 5 hours of game time.

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  2. Bruce Arena blends intense demands with humor to lead U.S. soccer


    SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Bruce Arena bites his fingernails religiously, a habit he has had since age 10.

    Among some other unmentionables.

    Bruce Arena
  3. Red state: Yes, Bill O'Reilly is a Bucs fan


    TAMPA -- The question was simple enough for Bucs fans: Why is former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly wearing a red Bucs polo?

    O'Reilly was wearing the polo during a few video clips from his "No Spin News" podcast posted on his website Monday, which was exciting news for some Bucs fans and not-so-exciting …

    Former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly was sporting a red Bucs polo during his "No Spin News" video podcast Monday. An assistant said the shirt was given to him by former Bucs tight end Dave Moore.
  4. For starters: Slumping LoMo, Dickerson not in Rays lineup tonight vs LHP


    1B Logan Morrison and LF Corey Dickerson, two of the main slumpers in the Rays lineup, are not in tonight's lineup with the Orioles throwing LHP Wade Miley.

    Logan Morrison is 0-for-12 on this homestand.
  5. Ex-Buc Booger McFarland becomes ABC college football analyst


    Former Bucs defensive lineman Booger McFarland is continuing his broadcasting rise by joining ABC's studio coverage for the upcoming college football season, ESPN announced Tuesday.

    Former Bucs lineman Booger McFarland (No. 92) will become an ABC studio analyst this college football season.